Outbound or inbound – Which marketing strategy leads to more sales? The fastest-growing companies rely on a combination of both methods, using digital technologies to systematically move leads through the sales funnel. The buzzword is digital sales. We’ll show you how to multiply the number of deals you close with the right tools and strategies.
Digital Sales refers to all digitally managed sales activities. Companies can generate leads via analog channels such as cold calls, but it is crucial that further processing takes place digitally. Digital sales typically includes both inbound and outbound methods and is characterized by a data-driven approach and a high degree of automation.
Digital channels play a key role in sales decisions, even in the business environment. Decision-makers research on test platforms, compare providers’ websites, participate in webinars, and download e-books. By 2025, 80 percent of B2B sales interactions will be purely digital, according to Gartner. 33 percent of decision-makers even want a purchasing process without contacting a sales representative.
However, companies need to develop digital sales strategies not only to meet customer needs. Digital Sales creates cost efficiencies for sales activities that position companies to withstand crises – which is more important than ever in light of rapidly changing market situations. Until customers make their purchasing decisions exclusively online, hybrid selling is the gold standard. B2B digital sales is combined here with classic sales activities.
Digital Sales encompasses all phases of the sales funnel – from B2B lead generation to qualification to the sales call. However, unlike in the analog era, digital tools and platforms are used to reach the target audience faster and convince them of the product.
The web is predestined for inbound marketing: In this sales approach, companies use ads, social media posts, and search engine-optimized articles to draw attention to their products and collect data from users. In outbound marketing, digital tools like Ocean.io help companies reduce their efforts and identify relevant B2B contacts with just a few clicks. Successful digital strategies combine both approaches.
Once companies have generated their first leads, digital sales tools ensure that the manual effort required to further develop the database remains low. Perhaps the most important digital sales tool: a powerful, cloud-based CRM system. It ensures that employees always have an overview of which leads are assigned to them, which interactions the leads have already had with the company, and which next sales activities present themselves.
We recommend Pipedrive as an all-in-one sales platform. The application can be used in a subscription model and the range of functions can be increased to match your own growth. Pipedrive promises its users an average of 29% more closed deals per year.
A key lever for reducing sales costs is effective lead qualification. Marketers and sales reps need to use objective criteria (e.g., BANT) to figure out how far along a lead is in its customer journey. Is the personal approach worthwhile or does the lead need to be “warmed up” further first? One crux of lead generation: employees often rely on gut feelings to rank leads. Companies lack a consistent valuation standard and sales opportunities are lost.
Digital tools can help remedy this: they support employees in objectively qualifying leads, improving their conversation management, and quickly establishing best practices within the team. Since the application can usually be integrated with CRM systems, the CRM remains the single source of truth.
The sales pitch is the final step in the digital sales funnel. Digital sales here does not mean that sales conversations take place exclusively online. It often makes sense to hold video meetings via Microsoft Teams or Zoom instead of traveling long distances for individual appointments. However, sales pitches that take place on-site at the customer’s premises or on the customer’s own premises also benefit from digital support.
Especially in B2B, customers see many sales pitches before they decide to buy. With VR and AR applications, suppliers can stand out from the crowd of competitors and let customers experience the product before the actual construction. Simply distribute smart glasses and customers can view engines as virtual models from all sides. Real-size plants can be projected into production halls. You can also integrate virtual experiences into sales pitches that take place digitally.
In many companies, marketing and sales still work strictly separately with different tools on their respective goals. With Digital Sales, companies ensure that marketing and sales are working with the best possible data, complementing each other and driving more leads to close in less time.
The challenge for companies is to find the right tools and combine them strategically. The applications should be legally compliant, intuitive to use and easy to integrate. The good news is that the right digital infrastructure can now be built for (almost) any requirement. Iterations and test phases are part of the process, but it is worthwhile for companies to invest in further development. Especially applications that use AI and automation bring enormous cost advantages.
Is your sales process as efficient as it could be? Book our Digital Sales Workshop. We show you which tools and structures you can use to significantly increase your sales in the shortest possible time.
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